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A warrant was issued for the arrest of CongressmanTom DeLay, who turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bail.Houston ChronicleIt was reported that in 2003 SenatorBill Frist was told (in writing) that a significant amount of HCA, Inc., stock had been added to his blind trust; two weeks later he said he did not believe that he owned any stock in HCA. “I have no control,” said Frist. “He could have been more exact,” explained Frist’s spokesman. The Washington PostA 14-year-old Washington boy was charged with sexual harassment after hanging around outside a school homecoming dance dressed as a penis,The News Tribuneand President George W. Bush nominated his economic advisor Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.New York TimesHurricane Wilma struck Florida and left millions without power,Reutersand tropical storm Alpha caused floods and mudslides in Hispaniola.ABC NewsIn the UK a quarantined parrot died from the H5N1 strain of avian flu. Croatian swans were dying of flu, and pigeons in Australia were under close observation. BBC NewsCNN.comABC NewsA Canadian named Gordon Chin was sentenced to 18 months probation for owning cartoon porn, including naked Pokemon images.XBiz NewsBabies were up for auction on eBay’s Chinese subsidiary, Eachnet. Boys were going for $3,450, while girls cost $1,603.BBC NewsIn Brooklyn, New York, a man was getting an image entitled “Last Rites” tattooed on his right arm when he passed out and fell onto a counter; glass shards cut his throat and killed him.The New York Daily NewsThe Amazon rainforest was being destroyed at double the rate previously estimated.Democracy Now!
A panel of researchers called on NASA to think through issues of astronaut sexuality as it plans a trip to Mars. “If there are instances of sexual conflict or infidelity,” said a medical anthropologist, “that may lead to a breakdown in crew functioning.”New Scientist SpaceWilliam Shatnerpassed a kidney stone.14WFIEScientists released a brown Norway rat on a deserted, rat-free island off of New Zealand in order to find out why rats are so hard to kill. Even though they fitted the rat with a radio collar, used traps and bait, and pursued the rat with sniffer dogs, the rat was not caught for four months. It was finally captured on a nearby island using a trap baited with penguin meat.CNN.comA two-year-old in Ohio was recovering after he got his arm caught in an electric meat grinder,News Channel 5and a burglar in Spokane, Washington, broke into a house and stole golf clubs, but left a pile of feces arranged in the shape of male genitalia.MSNBCLamb and Lynx Gaede, thirteen-year-old twin sisters who perform as the band Prussian Blue, were under criticism for singing songs that praise Rudolph Hess. “We just want to preserve our race,” explained Lynx.ABC NewsA Louisiana barber, tired of telling African-American customers that he doesn’t know how to cut their hair, put a sign outside of his barbershop that read “whites only.”KATC3Rosa Parks died.The New York TimesAn Oklahoma man, sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in an armed robbery, asked for three more years of prison time to match Larry Bird’s jersey number, 33.MSNBCIn the United States 2.3 million people were in prison.Democracy Now!
A jet crashed in Nigeria, killing all 117 people aboard.APAn Oregon man won $340 million in the Powerball lottery.ABC NewsAt least seventeen people died in bombings and shootings in Iraq,The New York Timesand a poll found that 82 percent of Iraqis oppose the continued presence of foreign troops.Democracy Now!Saddam Hussein was on trial,CBS Newsand President Bush was said to be angry and bitter. “He’s like the lion in winter,” said a friend.New York Daily NewsAn Ohio woman was found guilty of killing her four-year-old son by setting him on fire. She also burned his puppy.Turn to 10A video recording was released that showed U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan shouting insults through a loudspeaker after setting alight the corpses of two Taliban fighters. “Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one,” said a soldier. “Fucking straight death metal.”The GuardianA Pentagon study found that 28 percent of U.S. troops returning from Iraq require medical or mental health treatment; nearly 20,000 returning soldiers reported nightmares.Democracy Now!A 93-year-old Florida man driving a Chevy Malibu struck and killed a pedestrian, then drove three miles with the body on his windshield. “Obviously,” said a traffic investigator, “he was confused.”St. Petersburg Times
More from Paul Ford:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature